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FAQs about Predatory Publishing


What is a predatory publisher?

A predatory publisher has questionable publishing practices or misrepresents its practices. Predatory publishers often impersonate actual journal titles with only slight differences from the established journal’s name (e.g., omitting a “The” in the beginning of a journal’s name).

Currently, a predatory publisher is soliciting manuscript submissions from unsuspecting researchers using a name that is very similar to AAI’s journal, ‘The Journal of Immunology’ which has been published by The American Association of Immunologists since 1916.

The predatory publisher is also currently sending emails soliciting members with a 'formal invitation' for a fictitious editorial board. 

Directive Publications

Publication fees are not listed on its website.

There is no editorial board listed on its site.


Why should I care?

If you mistakenly submit an article to a predatory publisher, you may be notified about publishing fees only after the paper is accepted. Your article may not actually be published or be citable.


How can I spot a predatory publisher?

It is typical for a predatory publisher to

  • Steal or approximate the name of a reputable journal by slightly altering the journal title
  • Have a physical address that is not consistent with contact information or is non-existent
  • Promise rapid publication that is far faster than the norms for established journals
  • Promise to publish all articles submitted
  • Provide no option to withdraw an article from submission
  • Give inadequate or no line of communication with the publisher
  • Have inadequate (or lack of) peer review
  • Publish articles that are not copyedited (have many grammatical errors)
  • Publish articles that are out of the scope of the journal topic
  • Tout journal metrics that cannot be verified
  • List a questionable or nonexistent editorial board
  • Have a journal website that does not give editorial policies
  • Not clearly state publication fees up front
  • Violate copyright and/or publishing ethics
  • Have journals that are not indexed in databases
  • If the journal is open access, not be registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)


How is AAI responding to this fake publisher?

AAI is working with its legal team to enforce the misuse of the journal name.


How can I submit an article to The Journal of Immunology or ImmunoHorizons?

We welcome your manuscript submissions at The Journal of Immunology or ImmunoHorizons. We encourage you to read the Instructions to Authors for both The Journal of Immunology and ImmunoHorizons as these will provide you with helpful guidelines and information on how to best prepare your manuscript for submission. It is worthwhile to note that many predatory publishers provide little to no instructions for authors.


Additional resources

Knowing the tell-tale signs of a predatory journal can save you from falling victim. For additional tools and resources, please see:





For additional information, questions, or concerns, please contact us!

Gwen V. Fortune Blakely, M.B.A., CAE, Chief Membership & Engagement Officer

[email protected]

Catherine Wattenberg, Director of Publications, [email protected]

Ellen Fox, Ph.D., Managing Editor, [email protected]

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